AP Scan Modes

To scan your wireless network, you can configure your AP in one of these ways:

Access Point

  • Performs normal AP functions for wireless access to the network, but does not perform security scanning

Access Point with Background Scanning

  • Performs normal AP functions for wireless access to the network.
  • Scans the RF environment for radio and channel optimization.
  • If Wireless Security Features enabled:
    • Scans the wireless network for security threats on available channels (Off-traffic scanned for 100ms every two minutes).
    • Can detect over-the-wire threats, such as rogue APs and banned devices.
    • Limited ability to detect over-the-air threats.
    • Cannot perform active prevention of over-the-air threats.

Access Point with VoIP Aware Background Scanning

  • Supported on 802.11ac Wave 2 APs only.
  • Not supported on Wave 1 APs (AP120, AP320, AP322). If you enable this option, background scanning is disabled.
  • Performs normal AP functions for wireless access to the network.
  • Scans the RF environment for radio and channel optimization.
  • Optimizes high priority traffic, such as VoIP, during background scanning.
    •  Make sure that SSIDs added to the radio have the Application Visibility option enabled for accurate traffic detection.
  • If Wireless Security Features enabled:
    • Scans the wireless network for security threats on available channels (Off-traffic scanned for 100ms every two minutes).
    • Can detect over-the-wire threats such as rogue APs and banned devices.
    • Limited ability to detect over-the-air threats.
    • Cannot perform active prevention of over-the-air threats.

WIPS Sensor

  • Dedicated to intrusion prevention for all over-the-wire and over-the-air threats.
  • Dual-band round-robin scanning (each channel scanned for 100ms every 5 seconds).
  • Does not perform normal AP functions for wireless access to the network.
  • For optimal network security scanning and intrusion prevention, we recommend you use one dedicated WIPS Sensor for every three to five APs in your wireless deployment.
  • Place your WIPS sensors to provide full coverage over your Wi-Fi airspace, but do not install them too close to your existing APs to avoid interference.
  • Make sure there is some overlap in the coverage area so that at least two sensors are active in the same area in the event of multiple threats.
  • AP125 and other dual-radio models configured as dedicated WIPS sensors use both 2.4 and 5 GHz radios for security scanning, and do not perform normal AP functions for Wi-Fi access to the network
  • AP225W, AP325, and AP420 models have a third radio as a dedicated WIPS Sensor and offer dedicated 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi access on the other two radios.

If you configure a tri-radio AP into a dedicated WIPS sensor, the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios are dedicated to WIPS security scanning, while the third scanning radio is disabled.

Some AP models must use full PoE+ power or be connected to a power adapter for the third WIPS scanning radio to be fully effective. Lower PoE power results in reduced performance and effectiveness of WIPS scanning and intrusion prevention functions.

To make sure that LLDP-capable switches provide appropriate POE+ power for APs:

  • You must enable LLDP on the switch
  • Disable static allocation of maximum power of 30W (if previously configured)

For more information, see AP Power Requirements.